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Island Lake woman gets probation, community service in revenge porn case

Bethany Austin, 43, of Island Lake.

An Island Lake woman convicted of sending sexually explicit images of her ex-fiancée’s lover to his family and friends in an attempt to show he was cheating has been sentenced to probation.

Bethany Austin, 43, of the 1800 block of Walnut Glen in Island Lake, was indicted in 2016 on one count of non-consensual dissemination of a private sexual image, a Class 4 felony.

The McHenry County State’s Attorney’s Office said that the incident occurred in August 2016.

Austin sent a letter, copies of text messages and sexually explicit photographs of another woman to a friend of her ex-fiancée and family members, according to evidence at trial.

Austin found the images through the couple’s shared Apple iCloud account. She later called off the wedding, broke up with him and moved out.

Prosecutors said that Austin sent the letter, text messages, and photographs in an effort to expose her ex-fiancée’s infidelity during their relationship.

Austin had admitted to the police at the time of the incident that she distributed the photos.

The case had gone to the Illinois Supreme Court, which ruled in 2019 that distributing sexual images without permission was not protected by the First Amendment.

McHenry County Judge Michael Coppedge found Austin guilty following a three-day trial that ended in late April.

On Thursday, Austin was sentenced to 100 hours of public service, one year of probation and $2,289 in court fines and fees.

The case was investigated by the Crystal Lake Police Department and prosecuted by Kyle Bruett and Tyler Mikan of the McHenry County State’s Attorney’s Office.